What are Core Cat Vaccinations?
Vaccinations deemed essential to maintaining your cat’s health are called core vaccinations. Your Edmond veterinarian strongly urges all kitten and cat owners to make sure their feline pets receive core vaccinations that help prevent cats from suffering distemper, rabies and respiratory tract infections. Cat owners should be aware most feline infectious diseases are not curable and are often fatal if not treated promptly and aggressively.
Feline Distemper Vaccinations
Panleukopenia, or feline distemper, is a highly contagious, viral disease causing severe diarrhea, fever, vomiting, dehydration, seizures and eventually death in kittens, cats and raccoons. Similar to the canine parvovirus, the feline distemper virus is prevalent in nature, with most cats potentially exposed to this virus within the first six to 12 months of their lives.
Transmitted when a cat comes in contact with infected urine or feces, distemper can also be spread via shared litter boxes, food dishes and bedding. Nearly all unvaccinated kittens and adult cats infected with panleukopenia will die from the disease or suffer severe neurological problems.
Rabies Cat Vaccinations
In addition to distemper, rabies vaccinations are also core cat vaccinations typically mandated by local laws. Rabies is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of an animal infected with the virus. Symptoms of a rabies infection may take as long as five weeks to occur. Early signs of a feline rabies infection include poor coordination, conjunctivitis (red, swollen eyes), drooling, yowling and vomiting. Cats suffering late-stage rabies will exhibit odd behaviors such as hissing for no reason or acting aggressively toward imaginary objects.
Roaming cats or cats frequently coming in contact with other cats should receive a feline leukemia vaccination. A deadly viral disease, FeLV is fatal to over 85 percent of cats infected with the illness, causing lymphoma and/or anemia by suppressing the feline immune system. Spread via infected feces, urine, blood and saliva, feline leukemia may also be transmitted to kittens if their mother’s milk contains the virus. Symptoms of FeLV include yellowish color to the eyes and gums, upper respiratory/bladder infections, poor coat, diarrhea and progressive lethargy.
Schedule an appointment with your Edmond vet today to have your kitten or cat vaccinated against these serious diseases by calling (405) 330-0676.